Must Read Money Stories for Wednesday, Oct. 26

by October 26, 2016
Chipotle continues facing a crisis of confidence after a series of health scandals that left stores' performance in shambles. (Photo by Mike Mozart via Flickr.)

Chipotle continues facing a crisis of confidence after a series of health scandals that left stores’ performance in shambles. (Photo by Mike Mozart via flickr)

Volkswagen settles over diesel cheating

A federal court in San Francisco gave the green light Tuesday to a $14.7 billion-settlement between Volkswagen and drivers of its diesel-fueled vehicles—the cars equipped with devices that helped the German automaker cheat U.S. emissions tests. The court’s approval of the deal, which was reached in June and also included regulators at the EPA and the Federal Trade Commission, resolves the biggest chunk of the automaker’s civil liability worldwide, according to Bloomberg. It also makes up the largest portion of the $19.5 billion that Volkswagen set aside specifically for costs associated with the scandal that first made headlines last fall.

Trump attacks Obamacare

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump lodged some terse, verbal attacks on Obamacare this week, saying the federal health exchange’s premiums are “just blowing up” while attempting to point some of the blame on his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton. Trump’s comments, according to the New York Times, stem from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service’s disclosure Monday that an average 25 percent premium spike was looming over 2017 mid-level health plans. Trump’s new offensive, as the Times notes, come as his White House prospects continue slipping in national polling. With Election Day just two weeks away, it’s also perhaps one of the last chances for either campaign to take a solid stance on policy issues that have otherwise been largely void this election.

Apple’s finances slide again

For the first time since 2001, Apple Inc. posted a drop in annual revenue and profit Tuesday, a downtrend largely tied to falling sales of its flagship iPhone. The Wall Street Journal reported the tech company also saw downtrends in quarterly financial performance for the third consecutive quarter, with a 19 percent decline in revenue and a 9 percent dip in income. Analysts told the WSJ that Apple’s position is somewhat worrisome given slowed growth and changing consumer habits in the smartphone market at large, while also noting the company is running out of large foreign markets to enter.

Chipotle’s confidence crisis

Executives of fast-casual Mexican food chain Chipotle boasted their high hopes for 2017 during the company’s earnings release this week, aiming to convince investors and consumers that they’ve made a clean break from a series of recent health scandals that left the company in financial disarray, according to Bloomberg.  Their optimistic comments came despite having just reported another bruising quarter that fell short of analyst estimates. Analysts told Bloomberg that while Chipotle’s sales-growth projections may be solid in theory, the question is whether consumers will actually begin making their way back.